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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Developments in Iraq, Feb. 26

Feb 26 (Reuters) - The following are security incidents and political developments in Iraq reported on Sunday, as of 1645 GMT.

U.S. and Iraqi forces are battling a largely Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led government in Baghdad.

** Denotes new or amended item.


** BAGHDAD - At least 15 people are killed and 45 wounded in a mortar attack on the Baghdad neighbourhood of Dora, police and hospital sources said. Police said more people had been hurt in another mortar attack on the Shola area of Baghdad but could not immediately give the number of casualties.

BAQUBA - Three gunmen opened fire on a crowd of teenage boys playing soccer in a drive-by shooting in the Iraqi town of Baquba on Sunday, killing two youngsters and wounding five in what a police official said was a sectarian attack.

HILLA - A bomb destroyed a minibus as it was leaving a large bus station in Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, on Sunday, killing five people and wounding three, police said. However, the U.S. military said initial reports were erroneous and that two adults and three children were wounded. Police sources stood by their initial report.

BAGHDAD - Two U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad on Sunday, the U.S. military said, bringing the number of U.S. personnel killed since the invasion in March 2003 to at least 2,290.

MADAEN - One police officer was killed and two were wounded when their patrol was hit by two roadside bombs near Madaen, the Interior Ministry said.

BASRA - Explosives packed into the washing area of a Shi'ite mosque in the southern city of Basra blew up on Sunday, causing minor injuries, police and witnesses said. Police said they suspected three men wounded in the blast had been planting the bomb when it exploded prematurely.

RAMADI - A Baathist officer in the previous Iraqi regime was killed in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, police said.

FALLUJA - Three bodies with their hands bound and bullet wounds to the head were found near Falluja, west of Baghdad, police said. The killings took place three days ago, according to a medical source.

BAGHDAD - A mortar round landed near a Shi'ite mosque in eastern Baghdad, police said. No casualties were reported.


BAGHDAD - A traffic ban intended to help stifle the violence remained in force in the capital.

BAGHDAD - Shi'ite local community leaders said several hundred Shi'ites had fled homes in the capital's restive Sunni suburb of Abu Ghraib and were being housed temporarily in schools and other buildings in Shi'ite neighbourhoods.

BAGHDAD - Shi'ite Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, flanked by Sunni and Kurdish politicians, made a midnight televised appeal for Iraqis not to turn on each other after Wednesday's suspected al Qaeda bomb at a Shi'ite shrine. The appeal came after a round of phone calls from U.S. President George W. Bush, though Sunni leader Tareq al-Hashemi said he was not yet ready to end a boycott of U.S.-sponsored coalition talks.

BASRA - Firebrand Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr held a rally in Basra calling on Sunnis and Shi'ites to hold joint prayers on Friday. The anti-American cleric was speaking several km away from the blast at the mosque in Basra.
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